Earlier this year, news about Nashra Balagamwala’s experimental board game Arranged, hit the internet like a thunderbolt. If you haven’t heard, the game parodied and commented on the norm of arranged marriages. The nation was not ready for this bout of rebellious art, and within hours everyone was talking about it.
Creative dissent from Pakistani artists in the past had been relegated to murals and songs. Not that there is anything wrong with either; art can take many forms and still be inspiring. But it did mean that people were not expecting a board game to become a political catalyst. And yet, Nashra’s creative prowess, coupled with how open she was about her own experiences with the nation’s best kept secret made the game just that. Even before it was ready.
Months later, the young designer is still creative, and still opinionated. As a follow-up, we asked her to comment on some of her own photos from Instagram. And no surprise, her candor continues to be as refreshing as we remember.
With boxes of her game Arranged in Karachi
“My box fort! I love playing with any and everything I can find. And building forts is one of my all-time favourites! Whether its a blanket fort, a box fort or a bottle fort, you’ll find me hiding inside it!”
At Kite Beach in Dubai
“Me being ‘a real girl’ as my friends would call it. Tried living a day in the life of my travel blogger friends, but I just ended up dancing around in between the flags.”
Some art work in progress
“This mural might look pretty, but if only you could’ve seen what I mess I was at the end. Back ache, neck ache, and paint splattered all over! Totally worth it though!”
At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington
“I love everything that incorporates large scale flat design in a 3D space, (unless its poorly executed of course).
This museum was recommended to me by my typography professor, and I’m so glad I went there!”
A very young Nashra in Birmingham
“I have no in-betweens, either I’m all in or I don’t care at all. This series is an accurate description of my obsessive personality.
And how I don’t give up once I’ve set my mind on something, no matter how ridiculous it may be.”